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Thread: what ammo for Howa .308?

  1. #1

    what ammo for Howa .308?

    Hi all...

    Hopefully my new Howa Lightning .308 will arrive at the RFD in the next week or two, so I've been prepping my shopping list for all the stuff that I will need to kit it out.

    Key of course is the ammo...

    Now I know that one barrel will be different to another, even in the same batch, but for those who have the Howa, what ammo do you use -- brand and grain?

    I can only buy 100 rounds (hold 120) so I can't go buying a number of brands in different weights to see what works best!

    Living in Somerset, we have roe and reds; I'm booked with lwcdart to do a fallow cull in November; I also have authority to use the .308 to shoot foxes.

    What ammo do you use for which species?

  2. #2

    howa 308

    Hi Pippa, I recommend for starters you get yourself a copy of "one book / one calibre", ringbound loose leaf reload manual, http://www.loadbooks.com uncluttered with info you won't need while your'e working on your .308, By the way Charlie won't mind if you slip him a deer round! Steve 8)

  3. #3

    Re: what ammo for Howa .308?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pippa
    Hi all...

    Hopefully my new Howa Lightning .308 will arrive at the RFD in the next week or two,
    I can only buy 100 rounds (hold 120) so I can't go buying a number of brands in different weights to see what works best!

    Living in Somerset, we have roe and reds; I'm booked with lwcdart to do a fallow cull in November; I also have authority to use the .308 to shoot foxes.

    What ammo do you use for which species?
    If you are looking at factory made ammo and not reloading, then I would guess your choice of bullet weight is going to be limited. My brother shoots a Howa 1500 in 308, he uses it for all deer, Munties to red stags. He needs to keep thing simple as it suits him. The best grouping factory ammo in his is Hornady 150gn. He uses this for everything no problems.

    Best rgds

    Tahr

  4. #4
    Finnbear270 - As I'm still pretty new to shooting I'll be sticking with factory ammo for now - but I've ordered the .308 manual to see what's involved in hand loading!

    Thar - yes, from what I've read of the Howa's, a 150gn load seems to be the best all around, with hand loaded 150gn loads the most accurate.

    I'd like to get into full bore target at some point, but I think factory ammo should be accurate enough for game.

    Pippa

  5. #5
    Pippa, You can buy 100. That's 5 boxes! What I recommend you do is buy a box of the cheapest you can get your hands on to run the barrel in and get a rough zero, then 4 boxes of various makes with decent bullets to shoot some groups with. Take 4 targets and put a dark mark on the middle that's just big enough for you to see clearly through the scope at 100 yards (I draw around a 5p on a sheet of white A4 then colour in the centre). Once the gun is rough zero'd with the cheap stuff (even FMJ target ammo will do for the first 20 rounds if it's cheaper) then just aim at the mark on a target and shoot a group of five. Then move on to the next target and shoot a group of 5 with the next box of ammo, and so on until you've shot all 4 targets with all 4 bullet types. Don't worry about the point of impact on the target as that will vary but it doesn't matter as long as you keep aiming at the the original mark on the target. The tightest group, wherever it happens to hit, is the round you should stick to. You can then work out how many scope clicks you need to move by measuring where the centre of the group is to where your aim point is. Work out how many clicks it should take to get to that point and change the scope. Then fire two rounds again to confirm the settings are correct. You then have 13 rounds left of the good stuff and 50 odd spare ones of various sorts. Use these for fouling shots after you've cleaned the gun (most guns need a few rounds to get back on target after cleaning) and they'll soon disappear. With 50 rounds of spares you can still hold 70 rounds of your chosen cartridge, plenty for stalking.

  6. #6
    Great advice - thanks!!

    I'm really hoping the rifle will arrive within the next 2 weeks, but it could be as much as another 4....

    The waiting is killing me....

  7. #7
    As a FAC holder, what with variations, rifle orders etc, you will soon get used to waiting! It took me 10 months to get my FAC and I've been waiting 3 months for a Winchester rifle I ordered. Just use the time to read up more on what you'll be doing so when the rifle finally does arrive you'll know exactly what to do with it. That's all you can do I'm afraid!

  8. #8

    conflicting advice

    Pippa,
    I am sorry to give you conflicting advice to what njc has just given.

    following the barrel running in process i always clean my rifles using solvent and patches. after use. leaving the barrel clean. prior to stalking again i push a couple of patches soaked in Meths through aswell. this removes any trace of cleaning solvents. so each time the first round, normally the one on the deer is from a cold clean barrel. This way there is no need for fouling shots.

    most factory 150 gr rounds will group well from your rifle. 150 gr is an excellant bullet wieght. bullets will not suddenly become violently expansive in smaller deer but will give you deep and sustained penetration needed for big deer. i would use a standard soft point type bonded or locked bullet. I have used speers hotcor bullet in 30 cal. (number 2023). and found them as deadly as ebola.

    ruki

  9. #9

    howa

    Pippa, Just a little advice from someone who has had many years experience of shooting both in a sporting environment & m.o.d. area, most stalkers starting out will not find themselves in a situation where multiple safe shots become available, so therefore the first one up the barrel is the one that SHOULD count, but if you ever need a follow up shot, or lady luck has smiled on you, then you need to be sure that any subsequent round is impacting where you intended, a clean barrel is exactly that, clean, if you send a couple more rounds up copper will be left behind in varying degrees, all rifles are different, this deposit will affect the bullets travel through the bore, you should get used to cleaning your barrel after the running in period is over & you may find a number of shots are required to return your rifle to it's usual zero after cleaning, this is normal & nothing to worry you, it will all become clear as you settle your rifle in!, Steve. N.R.A. R.C.O. club coach.

  10. #10
    I appreciate all the advice guys - since this is my first full bore rifle it's great to hear what others do.

    I had been advised on the 'bedding in process' by a good friend who shoots : Shoot one, clean, shoot one clean etc for the first 10 rounds then shoot 3 or so, clean for a few times.
    After that do the normal cleaning routine after each outing.

    Since this will (at least initially) be primarily a stalking rifle, as finnbear270 says, the first round out of the rifle on a stalk will be the one that counts! I would expect to have to shoot a couple of sighters if I'm on a paid day with a guide/ranger who doesn't know me or just wants to check that everything is OK, but that may not always be necessary/possible...

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